Science Fiction Serials: A Critical Filmography of the 31 Hard SF Cliffhangers; With an Appendix of the 37 Serials with Slight SF Content

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McFarland, Oct 1, 1998 - Performing Arts - 223 pages
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Destination Moon; George Pal's 1950 Technicolor epic, is generally cited as the first noteworthy science fiction film. Usually ignored or casually dismissed in genre histories are the serials, the low-budget chapterplays exhibited as Saturday matinee fare and targeted almost exclusively at children. Lacking stars and top-notch writers or directors, the serials went largely unnoticed and unacknowledged by either critics or by the film industry. Yet serials were financially important to the Hollywood studios, and were often free to exploit risky or outlandish subjects that producers of "distinguished" movies would not touch. Influential serials such as The Phantom Empire (1935) and Flash Gordon (1936) finally brought science fiction themes to the big screen. Those serials and 29 others are exhaustively covered in this work, which provides complete cast and credit information along with plot descriptions and historical commentary for each serial. Video distributors (if available) are also listed.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Vanishing Shadow 1934
11
The Lost City 1935
14
The Phantom Empire 1935
22
Flash Gordon 1936
30
Undersea Kingdom 1936
41
Dick Tracy 1937
48
Flash Gordons Trip to Mars 1938
53
The Crimson Ghost 1946
126
Brick Bradford 1947
132
Superman 1948
136
Batman and Robin 1949
141
King of the Rocket Men 1949
148
The Invisible Monster 1950
152
Atom Man vs Superman 1950
156
Flying Disc Man from Mars 1951
160

The Fighting Devil Dogs 1938
61
Buck Rogers 1939
69
The Phantom Creeps 1939
77
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe 1940
84
Mysterious Dr Satan 1940
91
Dick Tracy vs Crime Inc 1941
98
Batman 1943
103
Manhunt of Mystery Island 1945
109
The Monster and the Ape 1945
116
The Purple Monster Strikes 1945
121
Mysterious Island 1951
164
Captain Video 1951
170
Radar Men from the Moon 1952
175
Zombies of the Stratosphere 1952
179
The Lost Planet 1953
184
Panther Girl of the Kongo 1955
189
37 Serials with Incidental Science Fiction Elements
197
Bibliography
205
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Roy Kinnard is the author of numerous books on such topics Flash Gordon, science fiction serials, Fay Wray, horror, silent films and Willis O'Brien. He lives in Chicago.

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